American Idol Finalists to "Move Out" on Special Billy Joel Episode Tuesday, April 15
American Idol will feature a very special Billy Joel themed episode on Tuesday, April 15 (8-9 PM ET Live) on FOX. The special episode will also feature an exclusive "American Idol" interview with Billy Joel. Joel will also provide a brief history and commentary on each of his classic songs performed live by the seven remaining finalists.
If I were advising the singers, here's what I'd recommend:
Ruben: "Honesty", off 52nd Street. The Velvet Teddybear is a balladeer, and this you-broke-my-heart classic is right up his alley.
Josh: "Shameless," off Storm Front. It's already been countrified by Garth Brooks, so it's the obvious call for him.
Clay: "The Downeaster Alexa," off Storm Front. A wordy, melodramatic ballad. So very up his alley. So's "Leningrad," but that song's aged about as well as Elton John's "Nikita," though not as badly as Sting's "Russians". Clay should make sure to avoid any of the very tempting doo-wop songs off An Innocent Man, because they'll sound crappy without the backing vocals.
Trenyce: "New York State of Mind," off Turnstiles. A lot of AI competitors probably want to sing it, but I'd like to see Lashundra give it a try. Lots of different points on the song where she can show off her range, and it'll be good to hear her sing with her own voice instead of impersonating someone else's.
(I burned a CD this weekend with forty AI performances from the past two years -- a lot of Ruben, Tamyra and Justin, for sure -- and while my main conclusion in listening to the singing was "Damn, Tamyra is amazing in every song," Trenyce's "I Have Nothing" from this year outshined Tamyra's last year. Just a fuller sounding voice that time.)
Kim Caldwell: "Just The Way You Are," off The Stranger. Kim, you're great in your range, but that's not a wide range. This song doesn't have a wide range either, but will give you a few flourish points towards the end. "Allentown" might actually give some opportunities to show off the rough growl, but that song would sound too weird coming from a woman.
Kim Locke: First thought -- "She's Got A Way," off Songs in the Attic. A nice, warm ballad, where Kim can show off her phrasing and control. Problem is that it doesn't end on a show-off point. Hmm. Which suggests an alternative: "This Is The Time," from The Bridge. The classic prom-show theme. Allows for emotional display. Better call.
Carmen: "Second Wind," from Greatest Hits Volume I & II. It's not a song that demands a lot from the singer, which in her case is really, really important. Crucially.